Every year more than 4 billion prescriptions are filled, which means it’s likely that virtually every American will have to deal with a pharmacist at one time or another during their life, so consumers should understand what pharmacy malpractice is and what to do about it when it occurs.
Pharmacists receive specialized training for their job and they are expected to do their job well, especially since patients go into a pharmacy with the expectation that these medical professionals will do exactly what they’re asked. Because they are highly trained and specialized, it is always the pharmacist’s responsibility to make sure that all aspects of a prescription being filled are accurate. Pharmacy malpractice occurs whenever a pharmacist or other trained pharmacy worker violates that trust and breaches the standard of care that is expected of them when performing their job.
There are a number of ways that pharmacy malpractice can occur, with the most obvious being for them to give the wrong quantity, dosage or type of drug to a patient, but there are many other ways that malpractice can occur. For example, they shouldn’t fill an incorrect prescription, even if the doctor actually prescribed it. Also, a pharmacist must be aware of the potential reactions and/or side effects related to a particular drug or combination of drugs and counsel the patient as to those. In most states, a failure to properly warn a patient of such possibilities can create a risk to the patient and will be considered pharmacy malpractice.
Some of the other common pharmacist errors that will often lead to malpractice claims include:
- A patient being given a wrong medication because it had a name similar to the medication actually prescribed
- A patient being given another patient’s prescription
- A patient being given the wrong medication because the pharmacist couldn’t read the doctor’s handwriting (In these cases, both doctor and pharmacist can be held liable)
- A patient is given the wrong dosage or the wrong instructions, even if the medication is correct
- A patient is given a drug that has not been compounded correctly, if the pharmacy is a compounding pharmacy
In almost all cases, pharmacy malpractice can be prevented somewhere along the line, by pharmacists, nurses, doctors and pharmacy technicians as long as they adhere to their duty of care and follow all appropriate safety guidelines.
Texas Pharmacy Malpractice Lawyers
The consequences of pharmacy malpractice can range from very mild to extremely serious personal injury. In some extreme cases, the result can be fatal. Anyone who believes a mistake was made with their medication error should first contact the pharmacy, to let them know a mistake has been made and then contact their doctor, to minimize the potential health risks.
After that, they should gather any available evidence that can support their claim that the prescription was incorrect, including the names of everyone involved, prescription copies, and medicine bottles. Then, they should contact a highly experienced Texas Pharmacy Malpractice Attorney, like those at The Gutierrez Law Firm, and provide them with all of the details regarding your claim. When you call us, we can look at the facts and tell you whether or not you have a case and whether it is worthwhile for you to pursue it.